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16 Ways to Beef Up Your Alzheimer’s Knowledge(Canada)

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Like any other day, Jake took a break from his shift at the warehouse to have lunch at the diner around the corner. Sally, the server, had come to know him quite well. She knew, for example, that Jake often took time off work to care for his dad, who had Alzheimer’s disease.

“How’s your dad doing these days?” Sally asked as she poured him a cup of coffee.

“Ah, you know,” Jake said, shaking his head. “He drives me nuts. Yesterday I caught him outside trying to fix the riding lawnmower. I shouted at him, ‘Dad! Don’t you know better than that?’ He nearly took a finger off. I don’t get it. He always had such common sense, but now he does such dumb things.”

“He can’t help it, Jake,” Sally replied. “I read just the other day that Alzheimer’s actually makes the brain shrink. It affects the area that allows us to make good decisions. Maybe your dad’s brain has shrunk.”

Jake was amazed. He had no idea there might be a physical cause for his dad’s declining decision-making skills. Sally directed him to the interactive brain tour at, which Jake reviewed later that evening. He came away with a better understanding of why his dad was behaving irrationally. He felt more empathetic toward his father, too.

The simple acts of educating yourself and others can have a profoundly positive effect on anyone coping with Alzheimer’s disease. To participate in World Alzheimer’s Month, devote a few minutes today to expanding your own knowledge of this condition and share your expertise with someone else. Until there’s a cure, knowledge is power over this disease.

16 Ways to Beef Up Your Alzheimer’s Education

1. Take the Alzheimer’s Learning Day pledge
2. Read about dementia symptoms and stages 
3. Get the latest facts and figures on Alzheimer’s
4. Get quick tips on how to cope with common dementia behaviours
5. Watch a video on Understanding Alzheimer’s and Other Types of Dementia
6. Watch a video on Managing Family Care for Alzheimer’s Patients
7. Take an on-demand e-learning course
8. Listen to a live chat on any number of Alzheimer’s-related topics
9. Hear from a family caregiver about what it’s really like to cope with a spouse’s early-onset Alzheimer’s diagnosis
10. Learn about the Alzheimer’s & Dementia Care Relief Grant Program
11. Learn about wandering behaviours in dementia and how to prevent them
12. Find out if workplace benefits may be available to assist family caregivers who need time off to provide care to a loved one with Alzheimer’s
13. Sign up for a monthly newsletter on Alzheimer’s caregiving topics
14. Learn about clinical trials for healthy volunteers
15. Learn about the Alzheimer’s Friendly Business Training program
16. Read a book to develop “Confidence to Care”

By educating yourself on a variety of dementia’s many aspects, you’ve taken a big step toward improving Alzheimer’s care or helping family members cope with this challenging condition. Please share what you’ve learned, either on social media (#AlzLearningDay2017) or by sharing these resources with someone who could benefit from it. And thank you for all you do as a senior care professional to make life with Alzheimer’s a little easier for someone else.

Last revised: September 11, 2017

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